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My view on laundry day.

It is a truth universally acknowledged: children need clean clothes to wear, at least sometimes. Also true: children have a gift for generating dirty laundry.

Back in the days when I could carry my son with one arm, his particular gift was spitting up. He was a happy spitter, but before I understood that concept I took him to our pediatrician, who chirped, “This is a laundry problem, not a medical problem.” We have since switched pediatricians, though not because of that particular occasion of pithiness.

It was stunning, the number of sullied onesies that stacked up in the course of a day. Also, the bibs, oh Lordy, the bibs, which were nearly beyond number and I felt must be folded, to which a friend (who is still a friend) remarked, “You have too much time on your hands.”

Our washer and dryer were in the basement, at the far end of a small and very narrow utility room I called the laundry cubby. The furnace and water heater were at the front end, and blocked most of the passage to the machines. I must have shinnied past them thousands of times. Getting to and from the laundry room was often the only exercise I got, but because of the stairs and the sheer amount of laundry generated by my baby boy, doing the laundry actually helped me lose my considerable baby weight.

These days we live in a different house, with a laundry room that allows me to turn around while carrying a laundry basket. My kid is far beyond his days of happy spitting. I’m working outside the home again, and I exercise like a normal person. But still, there is the laundry, piling up, waiting to be moved, waiting to be folded. T-shirts and jeans have replaced bibs and onesies, and I look for small things in pockets instead of spit-up stains.

Laundry is the only constant.

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